We’re right in the middle of cold and flu season and, like every year, it’s a drag. This winter we have the added worry of the novel coronavirus causing extra stress at every scratchy throat and runny nose that we experience.
The good news is that there is a great natural option for at-home treatment of minor cold and flu symptoms: Homeopathy. Non-toxic homeopathic remedies can replace over-the-counter pharmaceuticals that sometimes contain toxic ingredients while providing the desired relief of symptoms.
But What in the World is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a 200+ year-old school of medicine built on 3 main principles: ‘like cures like’, the correct remedy is the one that best fits the patient's symptoms, and infinitesimal doses are safe and effective. The remedies are made from plants, minerals and other substances that are diluted many times until none of the original substance is contained in the remedy; only its energy imprint remains.
Homeopathy is a form of energy medicine; it works by strengthening your ‘vital force’ or ‘life energy’ and, in turn, your immune system defenses. Once your systems are strengthened this way you are able to heal yourself swiftly and efficiently. The correct remedy helps your immune system understand the source of the symptoms and direct its efforts appropriately to remove it.
The practice of homeopathy has been experiencing major growth around the world in the last several decades, since it is considered safe, gentle, effective, and inexpensive.
Homeopaths study for years to learn how to appropriately choose the remedies that match the symptoms of their patients. Every patient is treated as an individual and the peculiarity of their symptoms are observed and taken into account when choosing remedies.
Seeing a professional homeopath is always recommended for chronic or serious issues. But for minor first aid or illness, homeopathy can be a self-care miracle. When addressing minor colds and flus, look at the most commonly used cold/flu remedies, find remedies with the specific symptoms that are present and choose the best-fit remedy: simple even for non-homeopaths.
The following is a list of the most common remedies for minor cold and flu symptoms and the specifics of the symptoms that will point you to each particular remedy. You should always try only one remedy at a time and if a choice doesn’t produce symptom improvement, then try another.
- Spongia Tosta - This remedy is indicated for a dry, barking cough that is better from eating or from drinking warm drinks.
- Rumex Crispus - Use this remedy for coughs with a tickling or irritating dryness that are worse in cold air.
- Drosera - Try this remedy for violent, spasmodic coughs that lead to vomiting or bleeding, and possibly a bloody nose. The cough gets worse from eating.
Cold and Flu Remedies
- Oscillococcinum - Use this remedy at the very first sign of cold or flu symptoms and take 3 doses over 24 hours. This can sometimes stop symptoms from developing or can be followed up by another remedy.
- Aconite - Choose this remedy at the earliest stages of illness resulting from exposure to a cold wind. The patient will have a sudden onset of intense head cold symptoms with a high fever, intense thirst, and a sense of fear or panic.
- Arsenicum Album - Use this when there is a thin, watery, clear, burning discharge from the nose that irritates the lip. The patient also has watery eyes, restlessness, and is chilly. Symptoms are worse at night. Allium Cepa is a similar remedy.
- Natrum Mur - Patients needing this remedy have thick, clear, egg-white-like discharge from the nose with cold sores on the lips and a loss of smell and taste.
- Pulsatilla - Think of this remedy if the patient has thick yellow or green mucus drainage that’s worse in the evening and in warm rooms. This patient will be emotionally moody and wanting consolation.
- Kali Bichromicum - This remedy is indicated when there is thick, gluey yellow-green mucus that gets stuck in the sinuses and causes facial pain and headaches.
- Gelsemium, Rhus Tox, and Eupatorium - These are the Classic Influenza Remedies and are appropriate for a patient with an achy, chilly body, headache, sore throat and a desire to stay still. The patient may be dizzy and is not thirsty.
- After using Oscillococcinum for 24 hours try Gelsemium.
- If the patient feels better with motion try Rhus Tox.
- Try Eupatorium when the patient feels as if their bones are breaking and has sore eyeballs.
Sore Throat Remedies
- Belladonna - Choose this remedy for a red, throbbing swollen throat with a fever and no pus.
- Arsenicum Alb - This remedy is appropriate if the pain is burning, but the patient is chilly. The pain improves with warm drinks and is worse at night.
- Hepar Sulph - The patient who needs this remedy has swollen glands, sharp splinter-like pain on swallowing and is irritable. Pain improves with warm drinks.
- Mercurius - Use this remedy when there is a very painful throat with white patches on the tonsils. The patient will have lots of saliva, a coated tongue and bad breath.
- Lycopodium - This remedy is helpful when the pain is on the right side or starts on the right and then spreads to the left.
- Lachesis - Patients who will need this remedy have a painful swollen throat on the left side only and are worse from warm drinks.
For further information about homeopathy check out our previous blog post, Natural Remedies for Natural Maladies: Introduction to Homeopathy. I also highly recommend The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro for detailed information about the principles of homeopathy and how to effectively use remedies at home. Common remedies can be purchased in health food stores, some grocery stores and on Amazon.com.
The author is a homeopathy student and not a medical professional. The provided information is not intended to be medical advice but merely informational. You should always consult your physician before starting any natural approaches or treatments or if you have severe or worsening symptoms.